Augusta man shot in face seeks $20 million in lawsuit

A man shot in the head while trying to stop a burglary at his neighbor’s apartment is suing the apartment complex’s management and the men arrested in the shooting for $20 million.

The lawsuit brought by Wayne Eggins Jr., who nearly died from his wounds, names Wilkinson Real Estate Advisors as a defendant, along with the two men arrested in the shooting: Aaron Bey and Stanley Fields.

The suit says the former Merrick Place Apartments on Skinner Mill Road, now Millbrook Pointe Apart­ments, “has been plagued by continuous and violent criminal conduct for the past decade, and residents are in constant fear for their safety.”

As evidence, the suit points to at least 55 incidents of burglary, robbery and other gun-related charges before the Feb. 18, 2011, shooting.

The suit accuses the apartment complex’s management and corporate officers of ignoring this information and refusing “to provide safety for the residents of the complex.” It also states that management ignored resident complaints about poor lighting, broken doors and overgrown bushes and brushed aside requests for more security officers and deputy patrols.

Eggins, who was shot in the face, has undergone numerous reconstructive surgeries on his jaw and portions of his skull to relieve brain swelling. His injuries have left him with partial paralysis and medical expenses exceeding $400,000, according to the lawsuit.

Eggins is “permanently disabled as the result of the negligence” of Wilkinson Real Estate, the lawsuit states.

The $20 million in damages would cover past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, disability, and pain and suffering, the lawsuit says.

Neither Wilkinson Real Estate nor the suspects have filed a response.

Court records show that Bey pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and is serving an 11-year prison sentence; Fields is scheduled for trial Monday on charges including aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit burglary.

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